Dedication to the cause
Anybody that has restored a classic car could be forgiven for thinking that they hold the monopoly on dedication. Endless evenings spent in the garage. The lounge taken over by piles of manuals, magazines and spec sheets. Grease stains on the kitchen table.
Oh yes, once you get into restoring, you do live and sleep the subject, and who hasn’t lain awake considering the bolt across the top of the gearbox that curiously seems to be 5mm longer than the others?
Well I have to say that we have competition! My six year old son is into pretty much anything that is engineered, which very very much includes steam trains. So whilst out for the day today, we discovered one of those little narrow gauge rail tracks where you straddle the carriage and are pulled around by a “model” steam train.
A nice little bonus was that we followed a particularly tidy Morris Traveller into the carpark
We had some fun riding around their little 200 metre long track astride the carriage, we ate our picnic and we were invited to take a glance at the little engines in the little sidings before we left. So that’s what we did.
Yes, the detail was incredible and yes the engines had an astonishingly efficient power to them but really, all I wanted to do was to natter to the owner of the traveller. Turns out that he had taken eight years to restore the car, which I was suitably impressed by. Until, that is, he remarked that he had spent more time building what I, up to that point, had rather casually viewed as a toy. “How long did you spend on it then” I asked. “Oh, a couple of thousand hours” was the reply “but that one over there took nearly five thousand hours”.
So next time you’re rinsing swarfega off your hands at 11.30pm, try to do this simple maths test as you cleanse. 5000 hours, divided by 6.30pm through to 11.30pm six evenings per week equals……. How many years!